AU boss Ping not pulling out

2012-07-10 22:29
African Union chief, Jean Ping. (AFP)

African Union chief, Jean Ping. (AFP)

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Addis Ababa - African Union Commission chair Jean Ping dismissed reports on Tuesday that he would pull out of the race for re-election at the pan-African bloc's summit due on Sunday as an "outright fallacy and fabrication".

"I am, and remain a candidate for re-election as chairperson of the African Union Commission, as I have not been withdrawn by my country, Gabon, and my region," Ping said in a statement, in response to South African newspaper reports.

"I fully intend to stay in the race until the very end and hope to earn the renewed trust of our continent's leaders."

Gabon's Ping, who has headed the African Union's main executive arm since 2008, faces a renewed challenged by South Africa's Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, a former foreign minister, when leaders meet in the Ethiopian capital begining 15 July.

At the last AU summit in January, Ping retained his post after the vote for the seat ended in deadlock, after neither candidate won the two thirds of votes needed.

Ping said the reports were part of a campaign of "malicious lies and innuendoes... to tarnish my hard-earned reputation and destabilise my campaign for re-election."

He also dismissed criticism of his "supposed inability to handle the situations in Cote d'Ivoire and Libya", denied reports that "France is funding my campaign" as "absolutely untrue" and rejected claims of mismanagement.

"I refuse to lower the moral threshold for this campaign and hope that all involved in the election will also conduct a clean and decent campaign that brings honour to Africa," he added.

Read more on:    au  |  jean ping

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